“For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you,
since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other,
whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of.
Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire,
as you have heard, and still live?”
“For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us,
whenever we call upon him?”
These verses stirred my heart to wonder – how often do I take this relationship for granted? I do value it, prioritize it, and seek my God’s face in surrender…but even still, even if I’m doing that, I don’t always intentionally reflect on the wonder that the Most High God speaks to me. That this God is so near to me.
The one true God, Creator and Sustainer of all that is. Who raises up kings and kingdoms for their appointed time and brings them down as He wills. This God has given us His Word. A Word that does not change – but that changes us, because it is living and active, piercing us with conviction down to our core. His Spirit unfolds it, bringing light and revealing its mysterious, infinite depth and beauty. The Spirit of God that has been given to us, to each one who has been brought near through faith in the blood of Christ. Keeping us. Perfecting us. Guiding us into all truth.
Starting our prayers here, with our focus trained on who our God is, rights our perspective. We recall who He is and who we are – which should both deeply humble us and fill our hearts with joy. “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4). He holds all wisdom, understanding, power, and glory, and He will accomplish all of His purposes. And we are His. He is our dwelling place. We find in Him, the King of kings, our place of true and complete belonging. And this King – He acts for us. For our freedom, for our joy, for the perfecting of our faith and the cleansing of our hearts from all unrighteousness.
It is easy for doubts to enter our prayers if we do not first fix our eyes on our God’s glory and greatness and on what He has done for us in Christ. These aspects bring into direct focus His great power and His great love for us. For both were demonstrated magnificently, unquestionably, on the cross.
Let us focus here today. And every day. This is our confidence. Our foundation. This is the core of our faith. How can our faith stand if we do not intently set our eyes on who our God is? The world around us is ever-changing. Our circumstances can shift in a moment. Our feelings are easily swayed and shaken if we do not have them grounded in something solid, something true, something that will hold fast. We are held fast by the One who reigns over all. The One who is unchanging and eternal, who calls the stars out by name and has our names engraved on His hands. Enter the throne room of grace with confidence and surrender, believer, knowing the One who hears you, sees you, and acts for you in wisdom, faithfulness, and perfect love.
“But the LORD is the true God;
He is the living God and the everlasting King.”
“Stand up and bless the LORD your God from everlasting to everlasting.
Blessed be Your glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise.
You are the LORD, You alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host,
the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them;
and You preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships You.”
“There is none like God, O Jeshurun,
who rides through the heavens to your help,
through the skies in His majesty.
The eternal God is your dwelling place,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession,
that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”
1 Peter 2:9-10